Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Misuse

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th January 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of children in (a) care and (b) need who have parents who misuse alcohol or drugs.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department collects information on the number of children looked after by local authorities in England via the SSDA903 return. However data on the number of children looked after who have parents who misuse alcohol or drugs is not collected.

Figures are provided in the table below for assessments of children in need:

Number of assessments of children referred to social care where alcohol or drug misuse by the parent or carer was identified as a factor, year ending 31 March 2014

Factor identified1

At initial assessments2

At continuous assessments2





Total assessments completed at which factors were reported





Of which reported:

Alcohol misuse: Concerns about alcohol misuse by the parent/carer





Drug misuse: Concerns about alcohol misuse by the parent/carer





Source: Children in Need census

1. This data was reported for the first time in 2013/14 for initial and continuous assessments completed in the year. A child may have more than one assessment in the year and an assessment may have more than one factor recorded.

2. An initial assessment is a brief assessment and a continuous assessment is a more in depth assessment of a child’s needs where the child has been referred to children’s social care services with a request that services be provided.

This was the first year this data item was collected. Data was provided by around two thirds of local authorities so this information should be treated with caution.

Factor information is published within table A6 of the ‘Characteristics of children in need: 2013 to 2014’ statistical first release:

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